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Articles Home » 1988 Articles » Comedy Of Errors - 1988 Comedy Of Errors
Comedy Of Errors - 1988 Comedy Of Errors

ARTIST: Comedy Of Errors
ALBUM: Comedy Of Errors
YEAR: 1988
CD REISSUE: 2005, 'The Early Years' compilation.


LINEUP: Joe Cairney - lead vocals * Mike Barnard - guitars * Jim Johnston - keyboards * Mark Spaulding - bass * John MacPhee - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Emperors Clothes * 02 Rule Britannia * 03 Tunes Of Glory * 04 Seventeen * 05 Stage Of Fools * 06 The King Of Kings * 07 Time There Was * 08 Once In A While * 09 Behold The Night


The first time I heard Scottish neo-progressives Comedy Of Errors was the cut 'Time There Was' found on the superb 'Exposure' compilation put together by Steve Wilson of future Porcupine Tree fame. Released in 1986 and devoted entirely to the 'New Wave of British Progressive Rock' it included Abel Ganz, Coltsfoot, Twice Bitten and a clutch of even lesser-known bands like Pharaon, Borag Thungg and the ever mysterious Aletsesoida. It's very hard to find these days as is its companion 'Double Exposure' released a year later and although that 2-LP set featured bands from Italy, Holland and Germany as well as the UK, both comps are worth searching for. Jumping to 1988, the French UGUM label, a subsidiary of MSI Distribution put together this Comedy Of Errors set comprised of 1986's 'Mini Album' EP and the 1987 tape release '24 Hours'. Unfortunately in a display of true professionalism and a self-inflicted comedy of errors, the label used an LP and cassette transfer and omitted 'The Student Prince Part 1' which was listed on the track listing. That song eventually appeared on a later UGUM compilation, but the damage was done in the minds of the band and their fans.

The Songs
And yet, the sound quality isn't all that terrible. Yes, the band were a product of the day sounding close in style to Abel Ganz and Pallas, two bands Comedy Of Errors supported several times as well as mainstream outfits like The Fixx and Simple Minds. In other words like many of the better 'neo' bands, Comedy Of Errors were not afraid of blending AOR and current pop styles in their progressive minded sound. 'Emperor's Clothes' is an excellent start and I love the scuttling guitars and stabbing keys on 'Rule Britannia' and the anthem-like 'Tunes Of Glory' which has traces of late period The Alarm throughout. 'The King of Kings' finds 'Comedy Of Errors going hi-tech with angular guitar and a pounding back beat although listening to this disc as I have several times over the years, I find the majority of songs lack that 'something special' that would have pushed them into the same category as IQ, Marillion and fellow Scots - Pallas. My guess is a chance in the studio with a proper producer might have helped their cause, but it was not to be.

In Summary
In 2005 the band released an exhaustive three CD set 'The Early Years' which included their entire recorded catalog. A precursor to Comedy Of Errors recently reforming, the band is currently in the studio and recording new material believe it or not. I'm looking forward to hearing how far they've come in the last twenty some years although hopefully not the heavy route that seems to be dominating the prog scene these days.

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